Prairie Post (East Edition)
Get an assessment of your grain’s quality
The Harvest Sample Program gives producers a free grade on samples from that year's crop submitted by November 30.
“One of the services of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) is the Harvest Sample Program, which gives producers a free grade on samples from that year's crop,” says Neil Blue, provincial crops market analyst with Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development. “Producers can then use those grades as part of their crop marketing.”
The grade information from the CGC provides the producer with a base grade to compare with grades on those same representative samples provided to crop buyers. Grading is based on both visual opinion and instrument analysis, resulting in some differences in grades assigned. The CGC grade is unofficial, but is from an independent, non-commercial source. It is not used in negotiating a sale grade, but it gives producers confidence in shopping the market with their product.
On request, the Canadian Grain Commission sends producers postage-paid envelopes in which they can place representative samples and return to the Commission. The Harvest Sample Program can be used for cereal grains, pulses, canola, flaxseed, mustard seed and soybeans. The grading report includes the following valuable information that a producer can use in crop marketing:
• unofficial grade
• dockage assessment
• protein content on barley, beans, chickpeas, lentils, oats, peas and wheat
• oil, protein and chlorophyll content for canola
• oil and protein content and iodine value for flaxseed
• oil and protein for mustard seed and soybeans
• falling number for wheat and rye
• vomitoxin (deoxynivalenol or DON) levels for wheat, corn and barley
Grade results are available within 20 business days from when the CGC receives a sample. Producers can submit samples of their newly harvested crops each fall.
“Individual reports remain confidential, but in collecting the grade information, the Commission can assemble and publish aggregated data on crop quality, useful to sellers and both domestic and international buyers,” says Blue. “Producers may sign up for the Harvest Sample Program on the website of the Canadian Grain Commission.”